Anguilla, a distinctively British island in the Caribbean, offers nearly three dozen unique beaches. They range from nearly private pocket beaches to classic crescent-shaped beaches with restaurants and hotels. All feature pristine aqua-colored waters and crystal-white sands. No wonder it's a sun- and sea-worshipper's haven.
Vacationing in Anguilla offers a more personalized, quiet experience than one would experience in more populous islands. Your vacation lifestyle will likely center around beach life and dining out more than nightlife or shopping.
When you're ready to begin some serious planning, let our experienced vacation planners help you. WIMCO’s travel experts are happy to advise you about hotel or villa accommodations, restaurants, and activities.
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Description:Endorsed by many as one of the best beaches in the entire world, known for its white sand, beautiful water and dozens of bars and eateries right on the beach
Why it's unique:The offshore reef is a favored destination for divers and snorkelers. Visitors can typically book an excursion right on the beach without making advance arrangements.
Best for:Families with young children and groups of all ages.
Amenities:You'll find beach rentals of all kinds, from umbrellas to snorkeling trips, along with plenty of food, drink and entertainment.
Accessibility:The main road to Shoal Bay East dead-ends at Uncle Ernie's, one of Anguilla's "happening places."
Know before you go:There are actually three Shoal Bays: East is the most popular, Upper is much the same but smaller, and West has only beach, water and private resorts.
WIMCO insider tip:Don’t miss the spectacular sunset views
Description:An exceptional stretch of soft, sugary sand, this beach also has a mile and a half of coconut palms along the shoreline.
Why it's unique:Rendevous Bay Beach is the longest beach in Anguilla and perhaps the best of all Anguilla beaches to walk surrounded by breathtaking views everywhere you look. Stonehenge, beyond the Dune Preserve, is a unique spot to relax and enjoy the stunning ambiance.
Best for:Romance, lounging in the sun, and active sports.
Amenities:This is the place to be, whether you are looking for beach activities, a place to grab a bite or perhaps the perfect spot to soak up the sun and relax.
Accessibility:This may be the most accessible beach on the island. If you're staying nearby, simply walk there. Alternatively, you can drive and park the car nearby or take a cab from the other side of the island. Taxis are sometimes expensive, though.
Know before you go:This is the beach where you can do it all: snorkel, sail, kayak, swim, lounge all day under a beach umbrella or go for a long beach walk.
WIMCO insider tip:Head for the Sunshine Shank when you want a bite to eat. You'll find tasty island fare, with cold drinks and a side serving of reggae music.
Description:One of Anguilla's upscale resorts, with 18 Moorish-style villas scattered along the beach, this is also one of the premiere wedding sites of Anguilla.
Why it's unique:Despite the luxurious surroundings, anyone can visit the beach. Or you can luxuriate on the beach as a guest at one of the nicest resorts in the Caribbean.
Best for:Spending time close to the water.
Amenities:Luxury abounds, with options available for floating, swimming and snorkeling, or simply enjoying soft sand and the sparkling turquoise water.
Accessibility:Arrive by rental car or by taxi. Free public parking is available at Belmond Cap Juluca for beach access.
Know before you go:The luxury Belmond Cap Juluca is here, but you don't have to be a resort guest to enjoy the beach. You have to go through the guard gate. Ask for Maunday beach access, and they will let you through.
WIMCO insider tip:This is not only one of the best resorts but one of the best beaches on the island. You won't want to miss it.
Description:With majestic cliffs surrounding a tiny patch of sand, this is a distinctive place to commune with nature and spend a few hours completely detached from civilization.
Why it's unique:This may be the very definition of paradise, but it can also be a bit disconcerting to be on a beach surrounded by high cliffs, with no way to leave except by boat.
Best for:Couples, adventurers
Amenities:None; you have to bring everything you want or need.
Accessibility:This little slice of paradise is only accessible by boat or by a rope leading down from the towering cliffs above. (the latter is not recommended)
Know before you go:It's a magical, secluded location. Check the weather forecast before going to this beach by boat.
WIMCO insider tip:Bring your snorkeling gear — swimming among colorful fish with turtles and stingrays is magical.
Description:With no modern development in the area, Cove Bay Beach has no restaurants or hotels along its tranquil beach. Its natural beauty provides a great place for couples who want to get away from it all.
Why it's unique:Very private beach with amazing views.
Best for:Natural beauty, simple relaxation and pristine shoreline.
Amenities:There are no amenities, just pristine white sand and turquoise water.
Accessibility:If you're up for a beach walk, you can get to Cove Bay Beach from Rendezvous Bay, but it's probably easier to drive over from West End. Just ask a local where to make the turn.
Know before you go:There's no restaurant on this strand so go there prepared!
WIMCO insider tip:Watch for visitors on horseback who ride along the sand to savor the view of St. Maarten.
Description:The beach is a mile-long stretch of sand that beckons visitors to stroll, swim and sunbathe. It has a world-class destination and is often listed among the "best beaches" in the Caribbean.
Why it's unique:Besides having one of the best-loved beaches, Mead's Bay is also home to some of the most unique and iconic hotels in Anguilla.
Best for:A relaxing escape without any hassles. This quiet beach is meant for relaxing, with many fine rental villas, world-class hotels and beach apartments nearby.
Amenities:There is a long list of amenities available at Mead's Bay Beach, but Blanchard's Restaurant and adjacent Beach Shack are notable. Owned and operated by the authors of A Trip to the Beach, the book that gave many travelers their first "taste" of Anguilla, the food served is island classic in character.
Accessibility:Unless you're staying within walking distance of the beach, the best way to arrive for a day-long visit is by car. There is a public access point by Malliouhana, where you can park and walk right out to the beach.
Know before you go:Fine, rosy-white sand, well-kept shores, fine restaurants, first-class spas, diverse attractions and plenty of luxury exist here. Mead's Bay Beach represents the top tier of Anguilla destinations, and you won't be disappointed, no matter why you go.
WIMCO insider tip:Despite its renowned character and tourist-worthy ambience, Mead's Bay Beach is rarely crowded. You'll have plenty of opportunities to just wiggle your toes in the sand.
Description:Sandy Ground on Long Bay is the island's primary commercial harbor and the best anchorage, known for its calm waters. The golden brown sand beach is encircled by cliffs, making it somewhat protected.
Why it's unique:Known as the island's party beach, where locals congregate to celebrate most Friday nights. Or salute the boat races' winners in conjunction with the island's annual Summer Festival in August.
Best for:Local food and drink from vendors who set up on the sand. There are also several interesting dine-in restaurants.
Amenities:Sandy Ground Beach is worth a day trip if you want to sample local food and drink from vendors who set up on the sand, and it also boasts interesting dine-in restaurants. There are also plenty of amenities and services available.
Accessibility:There is free parking available at the beach. From there, you can walk to the strand.
Know before you go:Because of the constant, sometimes heavy, boat traffic, there are better swimming beaches than this one. Sandy Ground's reputation is derived more from its mood and funky vibe, and it's the beach to frequent for "after the sun goes down" excitement, food and music.
WIMCO insider tip:Visit Sandy Ground Beach to enjoy real Caribbean flavor; shop with local vendors, listen to live music and sample local food specialties.
Description:Also known as Junk's Hole Beach, this is a quiet beach with a line of palm trees to offer a bit of shade from the sun.
Why it's unique:Junk's Hole is a sheltered spot to spend family time. Children and adults can enjoy searching for washed up shells and trinkets brought in by the tide.
Best for:Swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling.
Amenities:There’s one restaurant, Palm Grove Bar and Grill - Nat’s Place, but it's worth a trip to the beach just to eat there.
Accessibility:Reached via a rough road, the ride to the beach can be bumpy, but it's just about a mile from Walter Hodge Road.
Know before you go:Plan to grab a bite at the only eatery along this section of the shoreline. Nat's Place serves traditional Anguillan food, and it's delicious!
WIMCO insider tip:The marshy backdrop to the beach is a perfect home for biting bugs, so be sure to bring your insect repellant.
Description:Yet another of those off-the-beaten-path destination beaches in Anguilla, this beach stretches along the southeastern shore and is calm and protected.
Why it's unique:If you enjoy kayaking, particularly in clear water along a spectacular, pristine beach, you'll love this beach.
Best for:Safe splashing in the water, sunbathing and relaxing.
Amenities:What many islanders call the best, high-end restaurant in Anguilla, Da Vida, with vegan and gluten-free options, is located here.
Accessibility:The cove never feels crowded, even though tourists from St. Maarten are regular visitors to this beach.
Know before you go:Crocus Bay Beach is perfect for younger children who can splash safely in the water and adults who simply want to work on a tan. Keep in mind there are no amenities, so plan ahead and have everything you might need, including snacks and drinks.
WIMCO insider tip:The clear water of Crocus Bay is excellent for snorkeling or sailing.
Description:Remote and isolated, Captain's Bay is located at Anguilla's eastern tip and is one of the island's least-visited beaches.
Why it's unique:Large waves crash along the rocks. This location is stunning in its beauty and a mesmerizing experience because of how remote it seems.
Best for:A short visit, perhaps a picnic to drink in the unspoiled beauty and to snap Instagram-worthy photographs.
Amenities:None. You'll have to tote everything you'll need.
Accessibility:This is where a GPS app is valuable. You can drive to the area, but it can be tricky, and roads will take you only so far. You’ll have to walk to the beach across some rocky outcrops.See this video.
Know before you go:Strong ocean currents can generate a powerful undertow, so be cautious about swimming. This is not a location for children.
WIMCO insider tip:There is no shade, so pack accordingly.
With dozens of beaches to pick from, you'll probably want to sample several during your Anguilla vacation. Here are our top picks based on what you're planning to do during your day at the beach. Plan to visit several to sample the varying delights of each.
There's plenty to do along this swath of beach, even though it can appear remote and foreboding. Walk, swim, enjoy island food and drink at Palm Grove, and let the kids search for washed up treasure at the Junk's Hole on the left side of the curving beach sand.
Keep little ones busy building sand castles and playing in the water, and then sample some of the local seafood and beach fare at one of the local beach shacks. Kids of any age will love the variety offered by Cove Bay.
As the ultimate beach experience, families may see no reason to venture far from Shoal Bay East. Don't miss the chance to visit Anguilla's other beaches, but chances are good you'll return to Shoal Bay East again and again. It's that good!
Robert and Melinda Blanchard authored a book on Anguilla for first-time visitors. Now their restaurant on Mead's Bay continues the theme, introducing newcomers to Anguilla not with words but with unique flavors.
Known for its Caribbean favorites and global inspiration, the restaurant features organic, local ingredients. A casual beach shack next door serves simpler fare; eat at tables on the sand, or get an order to go.
Also situated on Mead's Bay, Straw Hat serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its clientele is mostly travelers who come for flavorful food and sunset views over the water.
Located in Shoal Bay West, this eatery's menu offerings are based on Italian recipes. Open for lunch and dinner. It attracts visitors who appreciate fine dining in a casual atmosphere, friendly Italian hospitality, Bolognese specialties and dishes inspired by the island's location, like lobster ravioli.
Not a "beach restaurant" in the classic sense, the dinner club atmosphere of Dolce Vita would not be the natural culmination of a day spent on the beach. Rather, it is an event to plan based on the merits of good food and a pleasant view of boats bobbing in the water.
A favorite dining venue of locals, Dolce Vita offers a taste of Italy in a beach setting, with lobster pasta as a specialty.
No, not that Elvis. This Elvis and his partner Brett have been serving drinks and hearty bar food on the sand at Sandy Ground. They have gained a worldwide reputation as a good place for afternoon libation, relaxing, and listening to music late into the night.
Guests cozy up around a bar fashioned from a real boat, gaze out at boats in the bay from a rooftop deck, or find a table near a large-screen TV for sports broadcasts. It's that kind of place.
Situated on the sands of Crocus Bay beach, this sophisticated eatery features an expansive raised deck for dining and dozens of chaise lounges right on the beach for relaxing after your meal. You can also rent a kayak and explore Crocus Bay. The setting is right out of a postcard.
The soft, rose, and cream-colored sand stretches for over a mile, and it's a perfect complement to the multi-hued blues of sky and water. It's the ideal location for beach-sitting, snorkeling, people-watching or soaking up the island ambience at one of the many nearby bars and eateries.
The crystal clear water laps gently most of the time along this wide stretch of brilliant broad sand, making it a picture-postcard setting, with a backdrop of the island of Saint Maarten in the distance. With clear and generally calm water, it's also known as a prime swimming beach.
A stretch of smooth, golden sand characterizes Cove Bay, a neighbor to Rendezvous Bay on Anguilla's southwest coast. Stroll along the rolling dunes, or ride horseback close to the surf. Cove Bay is rarely crowded, but it's always enticing, with its shoreside accommodations, eateries, and spectacular sunsets.
Private villas and upscale resorts like Four Seasons Anguilla and Caribella characterize the area around Barnes Bay. Whether you're honeymooning or just want to be pampered, this is the tranquil, uncrowded beach where lasting memories are made.
Tantalize your taste buds with lunch or dinner at Mango’s Seaside Grill.
Lined with coconut palms and blessed with glistening blue water and white sand, this may be the quintessential beach experience. It's captivating in many ways. Park a beach chair and umbrella in the sand and simply enjoy the view.
Be as active as you wish. Walk, swim, sail, snorkel, kayak along the shore, or head toward Sunshine Shack for tasty island food, cool drinks and reggae sounds.
A tiny beach at the base of towering cliffs, this serene retreat is just the place for a couple's escape. There is nothing nearby, so pack up some snacks and water along with an adventurous spirit. Or simply plan to enjoy being alone.
It's one of the favorite beaches on the island, and for a good reason. There's something for everyone at Shoal Bay East. If you'd instead find a spot of sand that's a bit more private, all you have to do is walk on a little further!
Groups love this location because there's so much to see and do. No matter your age or interest, there's sure to be something to attract you — perfect for diverse family groups, older kids and adults with separate enthusiasms.
It's not as protected as other Anguilla beaches, but it’s great for watching the sunset. Also, it's not far from the Four Seasons and Mango's, so if some members of the group have had enough beach, they can head for a drink or a snack.
The beach restaurant at Long Bay Beach is built into the cliffs, with steps leading down to the beach. It can be a wonderful place to enjoy the sunset from either the cliffside eatery or the beach below.
If you have a boat available, or book a boating excursion, see if you can make a short stop at this fabulous beach, if only for the photo op of the towering cliffs.
This tiny island is only a quick boat ride (maybe 10 minutes) from Sandy Ground Beach, but it feels like a world away. With a great sandy beach and a lively beach bar with fresh-caught fish, it makes for a perfect day trip from Anguilla.
There are many appealing luxury hotels on the island of Anguilla. As you're planning your trip to Anguilla, WIMCO travel experts will be happy to help, whether you’re interested in booking a hotel stay or renting a villa or a beach house. Some of our favorite luxury hotels in Anguilla include:
Belmond Cap Juluca
Carimar Beach Club
Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club
Anguilla has a variety of villas available for large groups who prefer flexibility afforded by booking a private rental with cooking and housekeeping options.
Among the more distinctive are: